Chapter 3

Metro: The New User Experience

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the new Windows shell and runtime
  • Examining the Start screen
  • Working with tiles
  • Customizing the Start screen
  • Working with Metro-style apps
  • Accessing charms and the edge UI
  • Finding more apps in the Windows Store
  • Understanding contracts
  • Working with hardware devices and peripherals

You don’t have to spend too much time with Windows 8 before it hits you: This Windows version is like nothing that’s come before. The biggest and most visual change, of course, is the new Metro environment, which includes the Start screen, various full-screen Metro-style apps, and several Metro user experiences that all sit on a brand-new runtime engine called WinRT. Not only does Windows 8 look different from its predecessors, it really is a brand-new operating system, built from scratch to meet the needs of today’s quickly evolving technology landscape. Yes, all your old desktop applications and hardware devices still work. But the underpinnings of Windows—its soul, really—has completely changed.

This chapter dives deep into the new Metro environment and explains how it works and why it works the way it does. You’ll look at how to use this new UI on PCs of all kinds—including desktop, laptop, tablet, and hybrid devices—and how you can get the most out of it regardless of the hardware you’re using. You’ll also look at the hidden new features available to the Start screen and the new Metro-style apps that run on top of this environment. ...

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